Warcasters are the stars of Warmachine, and Cryx has no shortage of powerful and fun-to-play warcasters. Up next is the infamous Iron Lich Asphyxious, Version 1.
IN SHORT: If you’re looking for a Cryx warcaster that can put out massive amounts of damage, look no further! Iron Lich Asphyxious has you covered. Fairly tough and surprisingly agile, Version 1 of Asphyxious is a powerful, well-rounded warcaster.
STRENGTHS: Asphyxious is all about doing damage, either in person or through his army. With the best ARM debuff in the game, a potent melee damage buff, a truly terrifying melee attack, and a versatile feat, Asphyxious can bring the pain to your foes in any number of flavors. Let’s step through them, shall we?
Parasite is a massive -3 ARM debuff that can be applied to single models or whole units. When it’s in play, it also give Asphyxious +1 ARM, making him a little tougher. Put this on something you want to die and then smash it to bits!
Scything Touch is a +2 melee damage buff to either single models or units. Yes, a buff spell in Cryx! And a nice one at that! This spell definitely encourages plenty of infantry, especially when you consider Asphyxious and a Skarlock can apply this spell to three whole units!
Like so …
Asphyxious upkeeps Scything Touch on Unit A. Unit A activates. Asphyxious activates and casts Scything Touch on Unit B. Unit B activates. Skarlock activates and casts Scything Touch on Unit C. Unit C activates. That’s a whole lot of models with +2 melee damage!
Asphyxious’ staff Soul Splitter is a P+S 15 magical reach weapon with Sustained Attack. Yikes! Give that a moment to sink in. Once Asphyxious hits his target, every follow-up attack to the same target that turn is an auto-hit. And these aren’t little piddly hits either. These are beefy P+S 15 hits that can be further enhanced by Scything Touch and/or Parasite.
Did I mention this goes well with the Focus refill his feat, Consuming Blight, provides? Want more spells this turn? Check. Want to power up your jacks and keep your Power Field full? Check. Want to wail on a single target with Soul Splitter until your opponent cries? Check and double check. The low POW damage caused by the feat isn’t anything special, but every enemy it takes out is a nice freebie.
On top of all of this, Asphyxious can even Teleport out of trouble. If you’ve committed Asphyxious to an attack that just went south, spend 2 Focus at the end and teleport him behind something solid to avoid the inevitable counterattack. Lastly, he comes stocked with two excellent attack spells, Hellfire and Breath of Corruption.
WEAKNESSES: Asphyxious may be reasonably tough, but he’s a medium base. That means he’s difficult to hide from enemy attacks. Cryx has a lot of great infantry, but most of it is mounted on small bases. His medium base also makes him vulnerable to Armor Piercing weapons. Watch out!
Asphyxious also has no means to lower an opponent’s DEF. Models with high MAT scores and units that are self-sufficient do better with him than those that rely on their warcaster for accuracy. Abilities like the Blood Witches’ Gang or the Raider’s Combined Melee help these units benefit from the extra damage while retaining decent accuracy. That said, I still like taking Mechanithralls with Asphyxious, just for the insane damage potential his spell list grants them.
SYNERGIES: First, take an arc node or two with him. His medium base makes him a tempting target. If you’re slinging spells at the enemy, fire them through the arc nodes and keep Asphyxious safe to the rear.
Any unit can reap the benefits of Parasite and Scything Touch, but those with a lot of attack are even better. The more attacks, the greater the impact of the buff or debuff.
Models that assist with Focus efficiency are always a plus. Warwitch Sirens can help fuel the jacks while Asphyxious pounds the enemy with spells, and the Skarlock is a must-have with this caster.
Try taking the Cankerworm with him. Between Asphyxious’ Teleport spell and the Cankerworm’s affinity with him, the two can ping-pong in an out of combat, inflicting damage while denying the enemy a counterattack target.
JUST FOR FUN: Let’s say an enemy Colossal stands between you and victory. Let’s call it a full-health Khador Conquest. That’s 62 hit boxes and ARM 20. It’s just Asphyxious and the Conquest.
Asphyxious powers up with Scything Touch. He casts Parasite on the Colossal, charges in, and hits. Every hit after that is automatic thanks to Sustained Attack. He pours on the extra attacks, feats to refill his Focus, then keeps wailing on the thing.
On average, Asphyxious will do over 70 points of damage, easily bringing the Conquest down. Yes, that’s right. This guy can take down a Colossal or Gargantuan BY HIMSELF in ONE TURN! I love this guy!
SUMMARY: Don’t let the fact that this is Version 1 of Asphyxious fool you. Iron Lich Asphyxious is powerful, flexible, and fun to play. He’s a worthy addition to any Cryx player’s collection.